Thursday, January 22, 2015

 One Word 2015

I started thinking of what my word would be for 2015 about Christmas time.  I wrote a bunch of words down and thought about them for a couple of weeks.  One word kept popping out at me.  I kept trying to push it back in, because he seemed to Christmasy.  But, it wouldn't allow it.

My word wanted to be heard.  So "JOY" became my word for 2015.

I was ready to blog about it.  Tell the reasons why I wanted this word to be the word.  I was going to find the JOY in everyday life, everyday decisions.

Then, Monday, January 5th happened and I immediately couldn't find a single reason for JOY.  None.

My sister was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer, at the beginning of December.  She started her chemo treatment, we were going to fight this together.  She had a doctor's appointment and we asked the statistical question.  Blah, blah, blah.

If she didn't continue with chemo, what was her life expectancy?  
The doctor said, 6 months.  She had a rapidly growing cancer that would attach itself to something else in her abdomen, sometimes the liver.

I hit the wall, didn't see that train coming.

If she did chemo, what was her life expectancy, especially since she had cancer before and was so weak?
The doctor said that not many patients even make it to the 5 year mark. What?????

Hit by another train.  We were both speechless, we knew that it wasn't good, but we didn't expect that answer.

There was no JOY, I couldn't find  a single thing to be JOYFUL about it.  I walked out of the room and lost it at the nurse's station.  Like in a pile in front of the nurse's station.  But, I pulled it together and went back to my sister and carried on.

In the two weeks since that date, both my parents have been in the hospital with pneumonia, my sister was in the hospital to gain her strength, and received blood.  I got bronchitis and I had to go to Colorado to tell my sister's daughter, my niece about the outcome.  It was one of the hardest things I have had to do.  We still haven't told my parents, yet, because they have been so sick.

But, where is the JOY in this - my word seemed like it needed to be changed to FAITH. 

But, I want to find JOY in the everyday.

I want to experience JOY with my sister for the time that she has left.  I want to bring her JOY.  I want her to see the JOY in the world and both of us to be apart of it.  But, how can you find JOY in this horrible disease.

I, guess, I need to find out.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Yesterday, was one of the roughest days I have had.  My sister was diagnosed in early November with cancer... again.  We were shock, it had been 30 years ago. At that time, she was pregnant with her only child.  She had cervical cancer, but because of the pregnancy it spread to her lymph nodes.  The doctors wanted to take the baby.  My sister refused.  After the birth, they immediately started radiation treatment, followed by chemo.  On her first chemo appointment, they overdosed her and she lost her hair in the parking lot. My sister was so sick.  The chemo was awful. They had to knock her out for the other treatments.

Today, that beautiful niece is 30. 

So, when the doctor called in the beginning of November, we ALL felt like we just experienced a horrific car crash.  She had surgery the Tuesday before Thanksgiving to remove her ovaries, tumor and 7 nodules. The doctor said that the tumor was a different looking tumor and that she would have to have some chemo, but we would know more after the pathology report.  They sent it to the Mayo clinic. She hadn't been eating, was depressed - sleeping all day.

Then, we got the call last Tuesday that it was Stage 3 ovarian cancer.  We weren't ready for that news.  But, SHE really wasn't ready for that news.  She has been angry, sad, mad at everyone.  Why her?  Why a second time.  The fear of going through chemo again, was worse than the fear of dying.  

She made a decision to fight through the chemo, still being angry.  I took her to her first chemo,  It took me 2 hours, patiently waiting for her to get ready to get in the car.  When we got to the clinic, we would walk a little to a bench or chair and she would rest, then repeat it until we got to the door.  I hated seeing her hurt this much, but I was holding it together - for her.  We got her all settled into the chair and the wonderful chemo nurse explained all the medicines.

My sister and I held each other's hands and cried when they started the chemo medicine.  

She kept waiting for the side effects, she didn't have any.

She waited to start feeling horrible and throwing up, like the last time - it didn't happen.

When it was over, she said she was starving.  I think the extra fluids helped her.  I got her something to eat on the way home and she ate all of it.  We thought she would get sick, it didn't happen. By the time, we got home (a 2 hour drive) - she said that this chemo was 100 times better than the last time. 

I hope that she did well last night, I will check on her this morning.  We made it through the first step for her healing.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014


This morning I am craving simple. I am tired of running and not being able to catch up ... On anything

My soul wants quiet

But how do I find the balance

Any suggestions????
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

 Organizing my Pinterest

I love Pinterest.  I might even be slightly addicted to it.  However, my boards are a mess.  I spent 20 minutes looking for a breakfast recipe and never found it - so I decided to get organized.  I love looking at the pins, I would like to actually use my boards for inspiration and creating.  This meant, I needed to get organized.

The first thing I did was to look at my boards.  Some of the cute titles of the boards just didn't work for me anymore or the board was so huge I would never be able to find anything.  I renamed some of my boards.  I put "celebrate" in front of any board that was a holiday.  That way they would all be together, instead of all over my "mother board".

Next step, I wanted the individual boards to be in alphabetical order on the "mother board".  I clicked on the individual board then dragged and dropped it where I wanted it to be on my "mother board".  It is so much easier to find things on the board now.  It reminded me of the game where you would slide the tiles over.

Then, I took a board - "yum" - and broke it up into individual boards.  I want to be able to find the pins, quickly.  Plus, sometimes when I am looking for something on one of my boards - I get distracted, lol.

This took me some time to do and I'm not finished yet.  But, my "mother board" is user friendly.  I will probably break up some of the boards.  My Christmas board is huge and it is hard to find things.  So, I will probably sub-category them into smaller file boards.  It will be easier for my daughter-in-laws to find things on my board too.

I plan on spending 15 minutes every day cleaning and organizing my boards.  Now, I just need to quit pinning.
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Friday, January 17, 2014

 Project Life - Week 2

I did it, I finished the first two weeks of this year's Project Life.  The first week was ok, but I like this week better.  I am having a hard time figuring out what I want to add.  I don't want it to be too busy, but then I want extra stuff.  I used the Studio Calico - Copper Mountain Project Life kit.  I have 4 other of their kits, but this is the first time that I used one of the kits.  I really enjoyed it.  

I put letter stickers on the twins' photos.  I know them now, but I probably won't remember in a couple of years.  Ok, I get confused now looking at older pics of them.

I love, love the puffy stickers that came with this kit and used them on my quotes and pics of the twins.

I had extra pages in the middle this week - three 8 x 11 pages that held my penny maps and a 3/4 protector about my amazing Disney Sunday adventure.  You can read more about it here on my Disney blog.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Enchanted Tiki Room, so I pressed some commemorative pennies and put a set in the album.  

I am enjoying the idea of Project Life, but will probably still create some bigger albums for the grand kids.  Especially, since I take so many photos.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

 One Word and Project Life 2014

Each year Ali Edwards picks a work to focus on.  She embraces the word and tries to make the word part of her everyday.  I haven't picked a word in a few years, but this is the year.  My word is ...


I PROMISE to get healthy

I PROMISE to make lots of memories

I PROMISE to only say "yes" to the things that I truly enjoy

I PROMISE to dream of a passion project

I PROMISE not to sweat the small stuff


I'm not sure where this word will take me this year, but I do want it to be part of my everyday life.

So far.....

I have made it part of my Project Life 2014 cover.  

I took some wood veneer letters that I had leftover from my December Daily kit and used Black Diamond Stickles on top of them.  It took two coats, but it gives it a raised shiny look.

This is my first page of my album.  I used the same wood letters and Stickles for the year.  Some of the cards are Becky Higgins Midnight and the rest are from a Studio Calico Project Life Kit (I can't remember which one).  The little blessed button is, also, from Studio Calico.

I might replace the top left card with a black and white photo of the grand kids.  I think it would help make the page pop.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

 December Daily

I am doing December Daily, I have tried to do it in the past - but couldn't follow through with it.  In the past, I even bought the kit.  I have no idea where it is at.  I have made excuses like - I don't have young children at home, I am too busy, my life doesn't look other people, she makes it look better than mine, I will be gone a lot. 

This year, is different - I have 8 grandbabies to share with
 I bought the kit
  I am going to make my album reflect me and what is important
  I am going to make memories with whoever is with me that day - school or home
I am going to make it simple

I bought the Studio Calico kit, signed up for Maggie Holmes' class, bought Ali Edwards' overlays.

Then, my brain froze - I had no idea what to do.  I planned the cover for 4 days, yup 4 days.  I ended up making the most simple cover, ever.  But, I love it and it is mine.

I painted the cover white, using Martha Stewarts' paint.  It took about 4 coats.  I used some red glitter Stickle paints, that I had from a few years ago.  There are a total of 12 stars on the front cover - one for each of my four boys and eight grandkids.  I added some of the gold glitter tape and the 2013 sticky thing from the kit.  I saw a lot of beautiful covers on the Studio Calico gallery page.  A lot of them had a bunch of very nice elements that were sticking up.  I knew that I wanted this album to be handled by my grandkids, so that wasn't an option for me.  It needed to be simple, I didn't want to be worried about things falling off the cover.

Then, I spent a lot of days figuring out the inside pages.  I couldn't decide if I wanted one page or two pages for each day.  This process was really hard for me.  I wanted it to be just right.  I tend to overthink things.

So, I made a rough calendar of the events that I knew would be going on this month.

I decided if I wanted those particular days to be a full page, 1/3 or half pages.  The process became easier for me.

I printed out all 3 sizes of Ali Edwards' templates.  Then, I started putting them in the protectors based on my calendar planning.  It dawned on me, that I could move the pages around - if I needed to.  I didn't have to preplan everything out.  I saved all the printed templates that I didn't use, so I could use them in my bigger Project Life album for December for journaling.

This was an important step for me.

I liked the way Ali had cut a protector in half for her title page.  I might have flinched a little, when I cut it - but it felt good that I could change something that didn't work for me.  I put some little tree confetti in the top pocket, I got it at Michaels and added the calendar 3 x 4 card from the kit.  I sealed the top and the bottom with the gold polka dot tape, found in the kit.

On the back side, I used another 3 x 4 card from the kit.  The right side of the page is Ali Edwards' template, 6 x 8.  I knew we would be at Disneyland on the first day and I wanted a picture of one of the trees to be added.

I will add the pictures and journaling this weekend.  It is too hard for me to do it during the week since December is so busy with Kinder babes.  I, already know what pictures I am using for this first week - so it should be easy - I hope - to put it together.

As long as I don't overthink it again.

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